Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

Archive for the month “August, 2016”

My quotes for today

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions.” – Henri Nouwen

“The truth is…you’re the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.” – Jules Winnfield “Pulp Fiction”

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Not why I podcast

I have been reading up on what I do and how it is seen, and comics podcasting has a bad reputation in some circles.  More and more I am seeing a variation of “It’s a bunch of wannabe comics creators trying to get publicity to break into the business” or “It’s a way for people to try to make themselves feel famous.”

As with any stereotype, there are elements of truth to it.  I have listened to many comics podcast from artists who talk about what they do and what projects they are working on.  I listen to a number of writer podcasts spanning from people who have been writing for 50+ years to people just starting out and trying to learn their craft.

But the whole “All podcasters want in the business”?

Nope.

Some are fans, some are broadcasters, some are retailers, some are creators, some are cosplayers and some are a mix of all of these and more.

My story is unique, as is everyone’s.

When I was in high school and college, I wanted to work in comics, the same way my classmates wanted to be rock stars, and we all knew nothing about the career.  We lived in a tiny rural area, and to go see an actual “rock star” perform or meet a comics creator, it was a nearly 4 hour drive to Chicago and I chose to see comic book creators when I went instead of rock concerts.

By the time I was in college, I was sending submissions to comics publishers, and while a few of the very small publishers were excited and offered me work, they went out of business before anything was published.

After a few years of this, I decided that I didn’t WANT to do comics any more.  Not because of the work to get in, but because I was also writing prose and enjoyed it much more.  I don’t think as visually as a good comics writer needs to, and I much more enjoyed working out a story with words, rather than describing to someone what the pictures would be.

I haven’t eliminated writing comics.  In fact, I have done a pair of webstrips.  The first was when the artist wanted to work with me on something, and asked that I create a strip for her to draw.  A few years after it ended, I took a couple of ideas I had for TV projects and slammed them together, as well as bits and pieces of the first strip and created World Wide News, which runs off and on when Dangerous Dan Mohr and I have the time, energy and ability to put it together.

But nowhere in my mind do I think that a major publisher (or even a minor publisher) will be picking it up.  I have some expansion plans for it that will return it to it’s roots, creatively, but I don’t see it being published by Image any time soon.

I get that there are a LOT of people who want to get into comics. It’s a field where most of the people who are fans want to dive in, whether it’s to do the Spider-Man story they’ve had in their head since they were 12, or to draw their own creations.  I also get that podcasting is a great way of getting your name out there for very little cost.

I also don’t podcast for it to be all about me.  Other podcasters I listen to want to be “famous”, and I reject that entire idea.  Fame for fame’s sake is nothing I am interested in.  Want proof?  Listen to Kray Z Comics and Stories and you’ll see that I don’t even give my actual name.  It’s not about me.

It’s about the stories involved in comics.

When I interview people, I will give my experiences to help connect with the person I am interviewing, but it’s all about them. Their stories.  Their work. What they do.

I started Kray Z Comics and Stories because I rarely saw my friend Joe Rider.  We both thought were were going to have jobs where we were on the road all the time, and it would be a great way to get together and talk once a week.  As time went on, I didn’t get the travelling job and the premise of the show stayed the same:

Two best friends chatting about their lives and their time reading, selling, and loving comic books.  That is the core of of the show and it always will be.  We’ve added things, but in the end, that is what the show is.  I did some convention appearances, and while they were a fun experiment, it didn’t add anything to the show, and felt as if it was draining the fun and enjoyment from what I do.

And I believe that if it isn’t fun, I’m not going to do it.

It is fun for me to talk to people.  It’s not fun to set up, deal with buggy equipment, crowds and asking those I care about to put themselves out for me. So, I called it a day so I can focus on delivering more and better content.

Because, it’s not all about me.

If you want to podcast for some other reason, more power to you.  Like any other artistic medium, there are no maps, no roads, just endless frontiers.

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My rejected Buzzfeed articles:

  • 10 ways your cat can use LinkedIn
  • 15 TV show references that 90’s kids think they understand but are really confused by
  • 1 Way that Gen Xers can care about these damn lists that infest the internet
  • 7 pics of Granny from the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons that are super sexy
  • We put this Lean Cuisine the microwave and you will probably believe what happens next
  • Replacing famous figures in history with a sponsored product in a sad attempt to make money and be funny
  • Here’s a list we stole from Cracked and changed enough words that we can pass it off as original
  • 57 lifehacks that are really just a pain in the ass
  • 15 bad excuses for being caught in public without pants
  • 22 times I was called “totally whack” by teenagers
  • 1 time a comic character threw up on Batman’s shoes
  • 20 reasons why I really don’t care what you did over the weekend
  • 50 ways to leave your lover
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My political observations for today

-Donald Trump will not drop out and anyone who says he will shouldn’t be listened to. Trump is loving this, and his “The system is rigged” is how he will explain his loss.

-Boy, the Clintons are always blessed with incompetent adversaries, aren’t they?

-Local races will be interesting as people try to attack Congresspeople and Senators to the Presidential candidates and they try to run from the association.

-Anyone who says “It’s never been this bad before” should not be listened to. History shows that we have had elections like this in the past, even with the beloved “Founding Fathers”. You want to see a TRUE nightmare, look at the election of 1856, which brought us the disastrous Presidency of James Buchanan.

-I like lists, how about you? They’re fun right? Think I could make this a Buzzfeed article if I titled it “Political Stuff that 90’s kids understand but Baby Boomers will be confused by”?

-Quite bluntly, I have struggled with remaining on social media due to the endless stream of people losing their fucking minds over Donald Trump. I have already dumped Instgram and Tumblr, and if not for my podcasts, I would just get rid of all of it and go into “splendid isolation” mode. I still might. CM Punk was asked about his wrestling career about 6 months before he quit that he would retire sooner than people think and never look back. I understand that feeling.

-Any stats the goes for Trump in November should immediately be given huge Education block grants, because they will obviously need some help.

-On a serious note, with Trump stating that “The system is rigged” already to explain the beating he’s gonna get in November, we should actually be concerned about his followers. There is a reason that, when a candidate loses, he concedes and then talks about how the system works and the peaceful transition of power. In the 80’s, I heard that Reagan would institute Martial Law in order to stay in power, then Bush, then Clinton, then Bush and now Obama. People already feel that the President is a heartbeat away from making themselves King.

People have been whipped into a frenzy by Trump’s rallies, and if you think people who show up screaming about building a wall and locking up their opponents will quietly accept the results of the election, you haven’t talked to any of them. They believe that Trump will show up, burn the place down and give them the country they have always wanted within days.

It’s not like the Obama folks who were shocked that he didn’t do the same thing and got upset that he was a moderate centrist (even though that is how he campaigned). They just stayed home and opted out of the political process. No, it’s more like the Tea Party on Meth and Steroids. I can see them pulling Clive Bundy like stunts to “show the government they won’t be pushed around anymore.” The right wing media has filled their heads with visions of FEMA camps, troops taking away their guns and hordes of non-white people taking all the jobs that are left.

Trump will not go quietly into that good night. He will throw a fit, as he has every step of the way, and continue to incite his followers.

-I don’t have a good closing joke here. Sorry.

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